Talking Numbers

Every trader needs to watch this

Every trader needs to watch this

After a rocky start, the markets are, well, falling asleep. But, is it now too quiet?

On Tuesday, volume on the New York Stock Exchange was just a little bit above 3.01 billion shares, well shy of its 3.48 billion average daily volume. And, on Monday, volume was just 2.64 billion shares, its third-lowest this year.

At the same time, the CBOE Volatility Index—the VIX—has been in a tight range over the past month, staying roughly between 12 and 14. The VIX is a measure of volatility expectations in the benchmark S&P 500 index over the 30 days.

Is the snoozefest in the market a reason for investors to actually worry?

"Complacency just absolutely makes me nervous as anything," said Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. "We've had so many geopolitical spikes here and there but none of them have held the VIX market for very long. It's like investors have just gotten used to holding through and waiting."

(Watch: Pisani: Concerned about VIX)

The big issue for Sanchez is that she sees the market priced for a strong economic recovery when that may not necessarily be the case.

"It's a very weak recovery," said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "The markets are going to have to correct at some point. I think that the VIX really doesn't show what kind of risk there is right now."

(Watch: Stocks decline for first day in three as retailers disappoint)

Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, agrees with Sanchez that the VIX isn't adequately priced for risk, even though it is sometimes called the "Fear Index."

"It's not really a great predictive indicator," said Ross, a "Talking Numbers" contributor. "When fears rise, the VIX rises. When people become complacent and equities rise, [the VIX] goes lower. So, it's not a great forecasting tool. In fact, it's a very blunt instrument."

Ross sees the market in a "stalemate" between retail and institutional investors.

"Retail investors don't want to buy because they're done with the markets here," Ross said. "They've missed out on a big move. However, institutions can't sell because with the markets going up, they can't fall behind those benchmarks. So, retail is not buying, institutions are not selling. We get no volume and the markets go nowhere."

That may have brought the VIX down to a fairly low level but there was another period when it was at all-time lows. And that may be a reason to worry.

"The VIX has been lower but it's been lower at the height of that financial/housing bubble back in 2006-2007," noted Ross. "There are some fears underneath this market that the price action is not speaking to, that the VIX is not speaking to, that investors should be concerned about."

"And, I'm concerned here," Ross added. "I don't like stocks up at these levels."

To see the full discussion on the VIX, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCNumbers
Like us on Facebook: